'Ariselu', is a very traditional and common sweet in South India and is known by various names like 'Ariselu' in Andhra, 'Kajjaya' in Kannada and 'Adhirasam' in Tamil.If it is deep fried in ghee it is called 'Nethi Ariselu'.This sweet is distributed in many auspicious functions and even during weddings.This is again one of my favorite sweets, which I never miss to get back whenever I visit Bangalore.As I mentioned in my earlier Manugupoolu post, we prepared this sweet along with the other goodies during my last visit.I just enjoyed this time while making all those sweets and savories as it really refreshed those child hood memories.
Shelf life:upto 15 days
2 1/2 cups(1/2 kg) Rice
1 1/2 cup(300 gms) grated Jagegry
1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
1/3 cup white Sesame seeds
2 tbsp Ghee
Oil,for deep frying
- Soak rice in water for 2 hours.My mom uses a slight red colored variety of rice for this,she says it tastes the best but you can use regular white rice variety too.
- option-1:Drain the water through a colander.Dry under the shade by spreading on a clean dry cloth.Once it is three-fourth dried(it should not dry completely),you need to send it to mill to get it powdered.Sieve it well
- option-2:Drain the water through a colander and leave it for 10-15 minutes.Grind half the portion to a powder in the mixie and do the same with the remaining half.Sieve it well.
- option-3:Drain the water through a colander.Immediately pound it using the typical stone grinder using the pestle,this is the most traditional method.Sieve it well.
- I followed the option-2 as it is very convenient to make the quantity for a small family.
to make Ariselu:
- Grate jaggery and keep it aside.
- Take a heavy bottomed thick kadai and add grated jaggery and 1/4 cup of water and let it melt completely.Strain through a fine strainer to remove the mud and dirt from it.
- Now pour it back to the cleaned kadai and boil the jaggery syrup until it reaches the SOFT BALL consistency.In order to test the consistency of soft ball - put little syrup in cold water,when you roll it with fingers you should be able to make a ball out of the syrup.This means a correct soft ball consistency which is very important to get in this recipe.
- Once you get the soft ball consistency remove the kadai and keep it on a firm surface.
- Add cardamom powder to it and mix well.
- Sprinkle rice flour(prepared above) quickly little by little and stir so that it does not form lumps. Keep adding the flour until the syrup holds.You need to stop adding the flour once all the syrup is absorbed and forms like Soft Chapati dough consistency.It should not become harder than that.
- Now take another vessel and slightly grease it and transfer the mixture to it and pat it nicely with the greased hands all over and pour the remaining ghee on top of it.
- Let the mixture sit for a while,you can keep it for 2 hrs or even up to a day before preparing ariselu.
- When you prepare ariselu,check the consitency if you think it has become very hard.You can add a couple of tbsp of milk to the mixture and can be kneaded to a soft dough.When you make balls you should not see cracks in the edges and it shoudl be soft which means a correct dough consistency.
- Meanwhile heat oil in a kadai to deep fry the ariselu.
- Take a small lemon sized ball and pat it on a greased plastic sheet or banana leaf to a 3" diameter round discs.
- Sprinkle little sesame seeds on top of it and press well.You can even sprinkle sesame seeds on both the sides or you can even add in the dough itself.
- Deep fry the ariselu one by one over low-medium flame until they turn brown in color.They will slightly puff up like puri.Few sesame seeds float up in the oil but it is fine,you can remove them with the slotted spoon later.
- Remove it with a slotted spoon and place it on a thick flat colander.Place the colander on a clean and dry vessel.Now press using a flat wooden press over the aiselu,this will remove the extra oil from it and make them look flat and even.
- Repeat the same process with all the dough and press them nicely to remove the extra oil.
- Arrange on a flat plate side by side.This will make sure that they wont stick to each other.
- Once they come to room temperature store them in a container.My mom used to place few sticks at the bottom of the container and arrange the ariselu on top of it.This will make sure that all the extra oil would drain to the bottom.
- Ariselu would be crisp immediately after frying.They turn softer by next day.We actually love the crispier ones and will finish half of them on the same day.
- Ariselu would be slightly oily when compared to any other sweets.If you drain them on the kitchen napkin to remove excess oil they turn out dry and does not taste that good.
- The consistency of jaggery syrup to reach the soft ball is very important in this recipe.If you mess up with it- you will even mess up your end product-ariselu.If the syrup is taken before the soft ball consistency.ariselu will break while frying them and if the syrup reaches more than the soft ball consistency,ariselu will become hard.So be careful while doing it.
- The taste of Ariselu also depends on the quality of jaggery.The dark colored jaggery and even the soft ones gives the best results.
- You can keep the ariselu dough for upto a week or for months when refrigerated and make ariselu fresh when ever you want.Make sure you soaked it nicely with ghee on top of it.
- Sesame seeds can be added into the dough but we always add over that which gives a nice look to ariselu.
- My mom uses a slight red colored variety of rice for this,she says it tastes the best but you can use regular white rice variety too.
- You can even deep fry them in ghee which is a special recipe in Andhra called Nethi Ariselu.